The Los Angeles Dodgers have agreed to a two-year deal with left-handed reliever J.P. Howell, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. According to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com, the deal will guarantee $11.25 million over the next two seasons, and includes a $6.25 vesting option that vests if Howell makes 120 appearances over the next two seasons. If he reached 120 appearances, Howell will be able to decide if he wants to return to Los Angeles for $6.25 million in 2016.
Howell, 30, drew serious interest from the Rockies before they signed Boone Logan last week, and was linked to the Nationals before they acquired Jerry Blevins from the Athletics. After signing a one-year, $2.85 million deal with Los Angeles last season, he will receive a significant raise after a terrific season in Dodger blue.
In 67 appearances with the Dodgers in 2013, Howell was 4-1 with a 2.03 ERA, 7.8 K/9 and 3.3 BB/9 in what amounts to the best statistical season of his eight-year major league career. For his career, he is 25-24 with a 4.10 ERA in 334 appearances with the Royals (2005), Rays (2006-2009, 2011-2012) and Dodgers (2013).
Howell was one of the best left-handed options available on the free agent market, joining Logan, Javier Lopez, Matt Thornton, Eric O'Flaherty and Mike Gonzalez. He is the third to receive a multi-year contract after Logan signed with the Rockies for $16.5 million over three years and Lopez got a three-year, $13 million contract to go back to the Giants.